First of all, I am truly in love with these two Omni Reflection wands, named the silver and the gold mirrors. The silver one, I like to think it is a smokey translucent mirror, adding subtle reflections. The gold one has two sides, and it acts as a prism, creating pure reflections with warm tones (if you use the warm side).
When I received these wands, I tried to incorporate them in my natural flow: shooting my kids, reverse freelensing flowers, and panning the view at the end of my street. It worked like a charm, and in this tutorial, I will share with you my thought process so you can infuse your images with the reflections generated by these new wands.
1- Create scenery.
In this image, I panned the scene while holding the gold wand to touch the lens and reflect the sky. Panning means moving your camera in any direction with a slow shutter speed while trying to keep your subject sharp. I often use this technique to capture the variation of the sunsets I see through the year. The wand enhances the esthetics by blurring the horizon line and smoothing the reflection, an effect I have never achieved before with my other funky techniques.
Just to make sure you understand, this scene, without the wand, is simply my patio (the black part at the bottom), the trees of my neighbors (on the left), the hills (on the horizon line), the house of my neighbors (on the right), and the yard of my neighbors (pool, patio set, trampoline, spa, etc.). The panning technique, combined with the gold wand, can create sceneries that simply didn't exist, allowing you to create something out of the blue!
Lensbaby Omni Reflection Gold Wand & Sweet 50 | ISO | 100 | 1/6 | Canon 6D
2- Add depth in your reverse freelens images
If it is the first time you encounter the "reverse freelensing" expression, let me explain it simply. To create a macro lens with your actual lenses, you detach it, turn it and place the glass side close to the body. It is a fantastic way to see the beauty of nature and to find light in places you would never have thought of. In this image, I use a 50mm lens at f2.2 plus the Silver Wand. As the depth of field is extremely shallow (f2.2 with a macro lens = mm of sharpness), the subtle reflections caught by the translucent mirror give a very natural result that enhances the depth of the image. While shooting my tall ornamental grass, the wand captured the other grasses nearby and blended them in the frame. Simple like that.
LensbabyOmni Reflection Silver Wand & Sweet 50 | ISO | 100 | 1/4000 | Canon 6D
3- Add contextual elements
If you have an image with many dark spaces, using any of the Reflection wands correctly will help you add contextual elements that will add savor to your images. How? The brighter elements you will catch with the wand will lighten the darker elements.
Here, the hedge was dark and using the Silver wand. I included some sky and top of trees in the hedge. As you can see, as the chair is brown, the reflections can also be seen on it. But you can not see it on the cement or the bright parts of my mother and my daughter. It works the same for those familiar with double exposures in the camera but with much more control.
In this picture of my son, I tried to add some summery atmosphere to this portrait. The wand caught the splash of water on the cement and placed it on my son's face.
LensbabyOmni Reflection Silver Wand & Sweet 50 | ISO | 250 | 1/400 | Canon 6D
"The brighter elements you will catch with the wand will lighten the darker elements."
Same technique here. The background is dark and was a great "subject" to this double exposure effect. The reflection you see in simply the waves of the pool that my daughter was watching.
LensbabyOmni Reflection Silver Wand & Sweet 50 | ISO | 100 | 1/500 | Canon 6D
This image is a double exposure made with Photoshop. I combined two images to make one. I like how the Omni Reflection Gold wand brought the sky reflection on the water and elongated the patched of the sun. It eliminates boring details in the frames, but it also "removed" the pool's border, so the top right corner was all white, which, of course, was not interesting. Using the "multiply blending mode" in Photoshop, I embedded a sunset panning I did earlier that week to give the impression she was swimming in her dream and was in some tropical location.
Lensbaby Omni Reflection Gold Wand & Sweet 50 | ISO | 100 | 1/500 | Canon 6D
I leave you with these examples, and I can not wait to see what you create with these wands!
P.S. The Reflection wands truly reflect its surrounding. Suppose the surrounding is not serving or complementing your image if it will detract the storytelling. Just move forward and find something else to shoot with! 😊
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Annick is a French Canadian family documentary photographer who likes infusing fine arts in everyday life. She adores capturing the essence of a family, their rituals and funny moments, and most of all the bond that brings their unique tribe together. She is based in Québec city aka Maple Syrup Heaven.